Objectives of Punishment There have been many rules throughout history some choose to follow those rules and some choose to break the rules. The big question is the product to those who should break the rules. There was a day when parents could pk their children freely and accepted as simply normal. As the years went on, society started to see how people would take it too far. Therefore, laws had to change. It is the same within today’s prison system. Individuals are in prison because they broke the rules and would have to serve their time.
Some go to federal prison and some go to state prisons. It depends on the type of crime that a person commits; because these prisons harbor different types of criminals they also have different guidelines to follow in terms to punishing the inmates. How does sending one person to state or one person to federal prison affect the correctional system altogether? The State of California’s main goal of sentencing is to match the community sanctions with the offender.
The types of community sanctions include: Criminal offenders who benefit from prevention services and are at risk of committing more crimes include: juvenile offenders with learning difficulties, high school dropouts, and urban youth gang members. Prevention services may include activities such as special education programs, and big brother programs. Criminal offenders who have received and benefited from these early intervention services are mostly first time offenders. Early intervention programs can significantly decrease the offender’s chances for committing crimes in the future.
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Offenders need substance abuse and alcohol counseling-related services, work skill development, and education, (Nieto, 1996). Offenders eligible for these programs are people in prison who can divert to alternative services and programs. The convicted offenders can be a second time or even a third time offenders who failed probation and even convicted of several of nonviolent offenses. California's "three strike's law,” can result in convicted felon sentenced to prison for life if the convicted offenders first two felonies were violent crimes and the third felony committed by the repeat offender is also a violent crime, (Nieto, 1996).
The main goal of these sentencing guidelines is to put the targeted offenders with appropriate community sanctions. However, there are some differences and variations in the California sentencing guidelines, which include the punishment by the nature of crime committed, frequency, and severity. A good example took place in Michigan. If an offender is arrested for burglary, which is a class 'C' felony in the state of Michigan, and a previous drug arrest, which are also a class C crime. The Michigan sentencing guideline rates provide sentencing options from alternative community corrections to a two-year prison sentence, (Nieto, 1996).
The community correction’s alternative gives the judge the option of sentencing the criminal offender to a community-based and secured substance abuse treatment program for a period of six months. Upon successful completion of the treatment program, the offender must complete a probationary period. The discretion of the judge comes from a vast array of options. However, if an offender is found guilty of a serious felony and has prior nonviolent felony, sentencing guidelines provide community corrections and alternatives are not authorized and a minimum two-year prison sentence may be requisite, (Nieto, 1996).
Until 1975, the federal bureau of prisons operated under the principles of the medical model of managing inmates. The medical model entailed educational, vocational, and treatment programs that attempted to transform criminal behavior into a positive and productive behaviors that would benefit society. The medical model utilized the federal inmate classification system to manage the inmate population and promote individualized treatment, (Miller, 2011).
By 1975, the federal bureau of prisons had a much greater inmate population than it had several decades earlier during its inception, and they adopted the balanced model to manage those inmates. The balanced model no longer promoted individualized treatment. The balanced model was a composite model that focused on a combination of the principles of rehabilitation, deterrence, retribution, and incapacitation, (Miller, 2011). Several other major changes over the last few decades have affected the sentencing of those convicted of violating federal laws. The U. S. Sentencing Commission of 985 limited the use of probation for federal offenses, particularly for drug offenses and violent crimes. The Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 limited the amount of time the prisoners could reduce from their sentences for good behavior. This new law mandated that federal prisoners must serve a minimum of 85% of their sentence. The Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 also abolished the use of parole for federal prisoners, (Miller, 2011). Federal prisons manage their inmates within the guidelines of a Prisoners Bill of Rights. The prisoner’s rights include clean and decent living environments.
Prisoners also have the rights to develop and maintain skills as a productive worker and have the rights to maintain and reinforce family and community ties, (Miller, 2011). The adoption of prisoner rights has helped the federal prisons avoid much of the legal turmoil that has embroiled the state prison systems. Most of the United States economist believed that in today’s times, the USA experiences the most drastic crisis in decades. All states in the United States report about significant budget shortfalls. As the results, the state governments significantly have to reduce their spending for correctional system.
For the last two decades of the 20th Century, the spending for state and federal penitentiaries increased 600% because of the growth of measured requiring economic expenditures, for example, mandatory minimum sentences, truth in sentencing laws and three-strike legislation, (Carlson, 2008). Although economic trends started affecting the consideration of sentencing policy, the public attitude toward crimes has greatly changed. Polls show that more people think that it is necessary to address the root causes of crimes and less support the use of strict measures toward criminals.
The attitude toward mandatory sentencing also underwent a change. The pool conducted in 2005 showed that 38% think that mandatory sentencing is a good idea whereas 45% of respondents prefer judicial discretion. This radical change in the attitude can be causing significant drop in the crime rate registered in the country, (Carlson, 2008). State and federal governments respond to the impact of the economic crisis on the correction system in a number of ways. The nature of problems varies, depending on the state, and so varies the strategies used.
The most popular measures are as follows: prison closings, cuts of the staff in corrections, reviewing the budget of corrections concerning nonessentials, reconsidering sentencing schemes, establishing sentencing committees and commissions. Everything in life changes all the time and will always be that way, which is why everything about the past be called history. The rules and regulations for punishing the wicked and wrong doers always have been around. Many past mistakes made; consequently, the rules had to have either adjusted or completely erased altogether to fix these mistakes.
The system of punishment is not a design to humiliate or degrade individual in any way, it is an intention to teach the difference between what is right and what is wrong according to the guidelines set forth by government officials. As the rules and regulations change, it affects the state and federal prison systems. They have had to become more lenient and tolerant with the individuals punished for their crimes. Still they have to try to maintain order within the walls of the confinement even though tougher laws outside the walls are making it easier to put individuals behind bars causing overcrowding and less money for security.
References Carlson, Peter M. (2008). Garrett, Judith Simon, Prison and Jail Administration: Practice and Theory, Jones and Bartlett Publishers. Miller, Whitehead (2011). Report Writing for Criminal Justice Professionals, 4th Edition, p140, Chapter 6, State and Federal Prisons, Retrieved from The University of Phoenix eBook Collection database. Nieto, Marcus (May 1996). Community Correction Punishments: An Alternative To Incarceration for Nonviolent Offenders. http://www. library. ca. gov/crb/96/08/#RTFToC6.
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